Issue #7: The One About Changing Your Mind
Hola friends! 👋
Finding time to write these days has been as difficult as getting access to vaccination. But not writing also means there’s an unticked off task in my to-do list that’s been there since April. And to be honest, I’m not sure what’s worse: not writing OR a task left undone. 😰
I started a new role at work. I’m interim Head of Product for our tribe while our current one is away until end of the year.
One would think that since I’m a coach for Product Managers and Product teams, heading up an organisation and managing 5 Product Managers would be a piece of cake for me.
But, I was terrified. And I spent a good chunk of my onboarding freaking out.
Until recently, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I will not take on a people management role in any organization again. I told myself that when it comes to my corporate job, I would prefer to stick to building complex products, defining domain strategies, and just keep on the individual contributor track until I reach the highest possible level.
At the back of my head, I’ve always felt like I’ve been holding out on my own career progression. But somehow I’d rather keep on missing out on great opportunities rather than fuck up at being a people manager ever again.
6 years ago was the first time I was a people manager. I managed 3 people.
Before taking on that role, my inspiration for people managers were:
The kind who used fear and loud shouting to get what they wanted
The kind who used their seniority to guilt trip me for having a different opinion
The kind who did not hide their favoritism and unabashedly favoured some people over others
The kind who created and nurtured a big gap between themselves and their people
The kind who did not care for boundaries and expected work to be done late at nights and messages to be responded to even on weekends
With those as my references, my first experience as a people manager ended up with somebody in tears, a really bad feedback, and a whole lot of shame. I never wanted to get back into the business of people management since then.
Until recently, that is. When one of the PMs at work I was mentoring told me that I would be great as a people manager. 😱
That single feedback made me challenge the self limiting beliefs that I’ve been carrying with me for the last 6 years. It made me realize that I actually no longer believed that I would really suck as a people manager.
It made me remember that I was no longer the same person I was 6 years ago. That in the last few years, I’ve also started making an extra living in helping people and their teams from other organizations be better at their jobs. So why can’t I seem to think that I can do that in my own day job???
Since then, I’ve also had better references for People Managers. The kind who don’t shout, fire people on a whim, nor send threatening emails on Saturday nights. 😅
Last week, I was still freaking out on a call with my own coach.
The she asked me, “Do you believe you’re going to do a good job at being a people manager?”
I said, “Absolutely.”
“So why not just skip the freaking out part and go straight to the part of doing a good job?”
So here we are.
So dear reader, if you’re still holding on to some of your own self limiting beliefs - I hope this letter gives you the permission to chuck that out the window and to try out something new.
p.s. My first managees actually left me good recommendation on Linkedin and we’re all still friends. I guess I was not THAT terrible after all.
What I’m super excited about these days 💙
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. This book is such a gem. It marries my two favorite things to read - light hearted murder mysteries and food.
Trese on Netflix. Based on one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. It’s about a detective who investigates crimes made by the the Pinoy supernatural world. It also has great Pinoy modern society references. (I have also acccepted the fact that I will never be a book review writer lol)
Summer is here in Barcelona! 🌞 We hit 28° today. And I’ve been pretty much living in shorts all week. Our ground floor apartment always gets really cold and problematic from October to March so I’m just really lookng forward to not having to wear socks all day anymore.
We got ourselves an Oculus Quest 2 and I’ve been playing Beat Saber for 2 weeks now. Slashing and dancing with a light saber to fun party music + Reaching my daily workout goal is never a bad thing.
For those who ignore text messages every now and then (like me), here’s a validation that you’re not a horrible person for doing that.
I started this maybe-weekly newsletter because I needed a space where I can just take a break from talking about career, working in tech, and coaching other Product Managers. I needed a space where I can show off my cooking skills, get kilig about the books I’m reading and the movies I’m watching, and sometimes even cry about the things that make me sad.
Want to share your thoughts and feelings, too? Leave me a comment below 👇
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